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with the assassination of john f. kennedy by using it to pass the civil rights act of 1964 and used the assassination of martin luther king to pass the civil rights act of 1968 better known as the fair housing act. >> so it seems like today, if you're looking at the assassination of bobby kennedy as being a tipping point for lbj, it seems like we have something similar on an emotional level here in the u.s. with regard to newtown and what's happened there. so if president obama wanted to take a lesson from 1968, what do you think he could learn from how lbj got the votes for the bill? >> well, again, lbj used the emotional tipping point, as you suggested, alex, to get this through. one of the things he did very effectively is he worked with great speed, with great swiftness in order to get things done. before the mood of the country turned to something else. it's interesting. if you look at 1968, mrs. johnson, lady bird johnson, wrote in her diary, there are so many people across this country who are asking what is happening to us. president johnson felt that as well, and that's when he moved on gun
sectarian civil war. we're talking a time frame of years. right now, jon, the death toll is about 45,000. a lot of people are saying that number could easily double in the coming months and years as this violence continues, jon. jon: the refugees keep streaming out of that war-torn country. leland vittert in jerusalem for us. leland, thank you. harris: new information from russia today where president vladmir putin has signed that bill banning americans from adopting russian children. we saw this coming and now it has happened. the bill angering americans and russians who say it victimizes the children just to make a political point. amy kellogg is live for us in london with more. amy, why have they passed this law? >> reporter: well, harris, the law is named after dima yakovlev, a toddler who died in the custody of his adoptive american parents a few years ago in the washington, d.c. area. he was left in a car in the heat but basically, it does appear that this law was actually a reaction to a law passed in the united states. it puts travel bans, visa bans and asset freezes on 60 ru
the truck was actually carrying. there is no word yetcaused this. jamie: well, right now there is word of a high level defection in syria's civil war as the general of the country's military police reportedly switches sides and joins the opposition. ambassador john bolton joining us now, former u.n. ambassador to the united nations fox news contributor. am bass do, great to see you. thanks for joining us. >> good morning. merry christmas belatedly. jamie: merry christmas to you. how significant is this defection away from assad. >> i think it has couple important aspects. this is another high level general. there is political implication there. we'll have to wait and see whether it induces other regime military authorities to defect as well. second, for the opposition undoubtedly this will give them important information about what's going on inside assad's military, perhaps inside the regime itself. what's the disposition of forces? are they well-armed? what is their morale? where might they be vulnerable? whether this general is welcomed by the opposition and contributes to them mili
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